Alright, this blog post is long overdue.
Since the last time I posted, I have made several changes. Major life changes!
I could have posted about them as they happened, but I was so busy and am finally getting settled. So here’s what happened:
I have been looking for another full-time teaching job since January 20th. I have been looking in Washington, where my license is valid, and also in Oregon and California private schools (where a license isn’t needed). Then, about three weeks ago, my mother mentioned something that made me wonder how difficult it would be to get an Oregon license – I hadn’t considered it before.
Well, it is exceptionally easy to get a license in Oregon if you have ever had one anywhere else. I basically had to send fingerprints, transcripts, and a copy of my other license to Oregon. With the process pending, I began applying to some of the job openings still available in Portland. Even though the school year had started, there are inevitably a few positions unfilled, for various reasons. I applied to three positions in the Portland area.
One was a charter school near downtown Portland and they called me for an interview. Being down with family in L.A., I purchased a flight up there and on the ride to the airport, a second school called me and conveniently wanted to schedule an interview for the next day. This one was a high school in the NE part of the Portland area. I was graciously offered a place to stay at Kellie’s grandparents’ house, about 30 miles north of Portland – a convenient and not-too-long drive away.
I did my originally-scheduled interview, loved the school, and then relaxed by eating lunch at Whole Foods just down the street. While I was there, a third school called me (that makes all three!) and also wanted to schedule an interview for the next day. No times conflicted!
Fast forward to the next day : two interviews, I was happy with both, and then stayed an extra couple days to relax in the area before flying back down to L.A. I can certainly say that as much as interviews can be a stressful situation, I always seem to perform at a level that seems “really well” to me. So that is a confidence booster I need to always take with me. Teachers frequently are much more comfortable talking to children than adult peers.
The school I originally flew up for had a little bit slower process – not something to find fault in, it’s just how their process went. However, a couple days later, I got job offers for the other two -on the same day! After applying for a very humbling, more-than-I-ever-expected-to number of jobs….let’s say north of a several dozen, two offers on the same day. And neither job seemed to have any cons – but both had pros of varying degrees. I needed to give an answer and make a choice by noon the next day, and I literally spent all evening, all night, and all the next morning deciding which would be best for me, and which I thought I could be most useful at. (I don’t think “useful” is the word I’m going for, nor is “influential,” …maybe “valuable.”) I made my decision and am extremely happy with it.
I am a math teacher at Sherwood Middle School in Sherwood, Oregon. This city was just listed as #5 in Money Magazine’s Best Small Cities to Live In. It looks like a beautiful area, but will be too small for me to live in. I need more social life. So, I will likely choose the developed area closer to the freeway, which includes the cities of Tualatin, Tigard, and possibly the southern part of Beaverton. Inside the Portland city limit is also a possibility but I don’t want my drive to go north of 30 minutes. For several years, I have been used to a 5 minute drive from home to work – walking distance.
In the span of one week, I have gone from having no plans to accepting a job, packing, driving up to Oregon, and temporarily staying with a family friend. I just arrived last night and my next post will detail my first day or two here. You will also notice that my Blog has been re-titled “Chapter 3…” Not yet…next time.
I’m excited to learn about my new area. I know there are tons of excellent shopping opportunities here and it’s close to downtown Portland. We drove down here relatively frequently when I lived in Washington.
Finally, you should all know that my parents (and brother) are wonderful and I love them and appreciate them so much for letting me stay with them temporarily. I know I made it more crowded while I was there, but they are all exceedingly generous and I don’t take it for granted. My sister is wonderful, too, by the way.